St. Mark’s Basilica opening times | One of the most beautiful churches in Italy, built by the architect Domenico I. Contarini in Venetian-Byzantine style, often impresses visitors from the outside, when your glance wanders over the five large domes and the decorated cathedral arches.
The layout of the church consists of a Greek cross with two aisles, over which a large and four small domes extend through the blue sky of Venice. It was extended through the porch on the north side of the church in 1204. Moreover, the simple building brick was enhanced by a pillared facade on the western front.
The church shines from the inside in all its glory: there are mosaics, pieces of prey, columns, reliefs, as well as sculptures and goldsmith works in various materials containing oriental patterns. The mosaics alone are spread over a total area of 8000 m². The murals of “Christ as Universal Ruler” and the “Apocalypse” stand between the apse and the exit.
The walls of the transepts tell the stories of Jesus’ parents. The construction and decoration phase of the basilica did not end until the early 17th century. Today, the year 1617 is known as the completion date.
- 1 When can the St. Mark’s Basilica be visited?
- 2 Last admission, opening hours on public holidays and duration of stay
- 3 Best time for your visit
- 4 History of St. Mark’s Basilica
- 5 Museo di San Marco, Pala d’oro, Treasury – Opening times
- 6 Campanile – Bell Tower of St Mark’s Basilica – Opening times
- 7 Practical information and conclusion
When can the St. Mark’s Basilica be visited?
|St Mark's Basilica||Opening times||Last Admission*|
|29 October to 15 April||9:30 a.m - 5:00 p.m||4:45 p.m|
|Sunday & Bank holidays||2:00 p.m - 4:30 p.m||4:15 p.m|
|16 April au 28 October||9:30 a.m - 5:00 p.m||4:45 p.m|
|Sunday & Bank holidays||2:00 p.m - 5:00 p.m||4:45 p.m|
Attention* – As part of a visit, persons in possession of a ticket to avoid queues are requested to arrive at the entrance at least 15 minutes before the indicated time.
Last admission, opening hours on public holidays and duration of stay
The last admission is always 15 minutes before the end of the official visiting times. St. Mark’s Basilica is open all year round. There may be some restrictions during church services on important religious holidays.
The Basilica di San Marco is not only impressive from the outside but especially from the inside. That’s why there are always long queues in front of the St. Mark’s Basilica due to the free admission. Therefore, you should make sure not to miss the time for the last admission by waiting in front of the Basilica.
The duration of stay in the Basilica San Marco can vary. Of course, it is possible to get an excellent overview in 15 minutes, if you want to discover much of Venice. Otherwise, the duration of stay is unlimited.
Best time for your visit
A visit to the Basilica di San Marco is a MUST SEE for every Venice trip. The lagoon city is a year-round destination and always crowded except for a few days in winter. Venice is expensive and many visitors come only as day-trippers. Cruise liners dock at various cruise terminals in the morning.
Thousands of cruise travellers hurry to have a view of the most famous attractions so as to be able to return to the ship in the evening before the ship sets sail. That’s why the number of visitors to St. Mark’s Basilica is from 10:00 or 11:00 am the busiest and waiting times around these hours are also the longest. The queues start decreasing from 3 pm onward and before the last admission times.
Guided tours take place daily from around 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. So if you do not want to spend your valuable time in a queue and still want to discover as much of Venice as possible, you should join a sightseeing tour that basically guarantees admission without queuing at the booked time. An appropriate tour in German can be directly booked here.
|St Mark's Basilica||Duration||Price*||Tickets|
|Guided tour +|
|1 hour||32,00 €||Buy online ticket|
Golden Basilica Tour
|1 hour||33,00 €||Buy online ticket|
|Guided tour +|
|3 hours||69,00 €||Buy online ticket|
Because the problem of long waiting times also applies to the adjacent Doge’s Palace and its famous Ponte de i Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs, it would make sense to buy combined tickets, which will ensure the admission without waiting times for both sights.
Detailed information, suggestions, and offers can be found in St. Mark’s Basilica.
If you want to visit the Basilica di San Marco without queuing and have it almost all to yourself, you still have the possibility of booking a sightseeing tour after the closing time of the ticket office – tours only available in English.
|St Mark's Basilica||Duration||Price*||Ticket|
|St. Mark’s Basilica|
|1,5 hours||89,00 €||Buy online ticket|
|Saint Mark's Basilica|
|1,5 hours||89,00 €||Buy online ticket|
History of St. Mark’s Basilica
The present building was built between the years 1063 to 1094. But there were already predecessors and interesting history of the church foundation. According to the legend, Venetian merchants brought Mark’s bones from Cairo to the city. They reported that an angel had talked to Mark during his lifetime and prophesied that Venice would be his final resting place. Venetians named Mark patron saint of the city and began the construction of his last resting place – St. Mark’s Basilica.
The city’s landmark still exists today, St. Mark’s winged lion. In 976 the first construction of the basilica and 200 adjacent houses were completely destroyed by a fire in the Doge’s Palace. At first St. Mark’s bones were lost. The reconstruction of the church began in the same year by the Doge Pietro I. Orseolo. Today’s St. Mark’s Basilica was commissioned by Doge Domenico Contarini. If you believe the story, the bones of St. Mark were miraculously recovered during the reconstruction. This day was written into the history books of the city and the day was declared a holiday in Venice.
|Opening times||Days||29 Oct - 15 April||16 April - 28 Oct|
St Mark's Basilica
|Monday to Saturday||9:45 a.m-4:45 p.m||9:35 a.m-5:00 p.m|
|Sunday & Bank holidays||9:45 a.m-4:45 p.m||9:35 a.m-5:00 p.m|
|Golden altar||Monday to Saturday||9:45 a.m-4:45 p.m||9:35 a.m-5:00 p.m|
|Sunday & Bank holidays||2:00 p.m-4:30 p.m||2:00 p.m-5:00 p.m|
|Treasury||Monday to Saturday||9:45 a.m-4:30 p.m||9:35 a.m-5:00 p.m|
|Sunday & Bank holidays||2:00 p.m-4:30 p.m||2:00 p.m-4:30 p.m|
Museo di San Marco, Pala d’oro, Treasury – Opening times
Even the museum, gold altar and treasury of the St. Mark’s Basilica is a church of superlatives! It keeps some surprises ready for visitors. Take a look inside the mighty structure and discover the history of the basilica in the adjacent museum.
As mentioned above, St. Mark’s Basilica welcomes its visitors from Monday to Saturday from 9:45 am to 5:00 pm and it can be visited on Sundays from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm after church service free of charge.
The admission to the adjacent museum is € 5.00 per person. Taking a look into the sanctuaries of the church costs: Pala d’Oro 2.00 € per person and Treasury 3.00 € per person. Reduced prices for teenagers and children are available. Tickets are only available on site.
Campanile – Bell Tower of St Mark’s Basilica – Opening times
You will have the best view of St. Mark’s Basilica from the platform of the bell tower. The campanile is located directly opposite the cathedral and offers a fantastic view of the lagoon city.
✓ Ascending the bell tower costs € 8.00, for young people from 6 – 18 years, the reduced admission fee is € 4.00.
✓ Tickets are only available on site. Except for tickets without queues, which can also be booked in advance.
|Campanile||Days||Opening times||Last admission|
|1 Oct to 27 Oct||Monday - Sunday||9:30 a.m-6:00 p.m||5:45 p.m|
|28 Oct to 31 March||Monday - Sunday||9:30 a.m-4:45 p.m||4:30 p.m|
|1 April to 15 April||Monday - Sunday||9:00 a.m-5:30 p.m||4:45 p.m|
|16 April to 30 Sep||Monday - Sunday||8:30 a.m-9:00 p.m||8:45 p.m|
Practical information and conclusion
Most surprising is the free admission to the world-famous Golden Basilica. Only those who want to see more will have to pay € 2.00, € 3.00 or € 5.00 at diverse attractions, but it’s worthwhile. This also applies to the visit of the free-standing bell tower, which has an admission fee of € 8.00.
There is a certain dress code required when visiting St. Mark’s Cathedral. Please do not wear shorts, skirts or sleeveless tops – shoulders should always be covered. For general security reasons, please do not forget to hand in your bags and rucksacks near the church free of charge.
* All prices mentioned in this article are non-binding. It generally counts the current offer of the provider.